If you’re planning a trip to the Hawaiian Islands for the first time, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed as to which island, or islands, to vacation on. Consider that the Garden Isle has a habit of stealing travelers from other islands once they’ve discovered it.
With 97 percent of Kauai undeveloped, it’s filled with incredible scenic beauty sans the skyscrapers. The island has frequently been named the very best in the world to visit, including Travel and Leisure magazine with “World’s Best” recognitions chosen by their readers.
Here are just five of the reasons to choose Kauai over the other islands to help make that decision a little easier.
The only island with a navigable river
The Garden isle is the only one of the Hawaiian Islands with a navigable river. Join experienced guides who bring paddlers by canoe or kayak on the Wailua River that meanders through lush, tropical jungle filled with waterfalls and large rocks with ancient petroglyph carvings.
Many travelers visit the islands expecting to try their hand at surfing, forgetting that the surf throughout Hawaii can be rough. In Kauai, beginners will find Kalapaki Beach at the Nawiliwili Harbor ideal with its shallow left and right sandbar break.
Experienced surfers can also find a great spot with the challenging waves at Hanalei Bay or Lawai Beach, depending on the time of year.
The most beaches
Choose Kauai for its over 50 miles of picturesque sandy shores, more than any other Hawaiian Island. It’s also home to a beach that was named the best in the entire nation, Hanalei Bay Beach Park. With a long, crescent-shaped beach that is remote, pristine and left untouched by development, many refer to it as “heaven on earth.”
Hiking the Na Pali Coast and Waimea Canyon
Another reason to choose Kauai is the incredible opportunities for hiking. Na Pali coast can only be accessed by hiking, sea or air tours, decreasing the odds for bumping elbows with others on its 45 miles of trails. Wander through rainforests, past scenic falls and up to mountain peaks.
Trails bring hikers to 4,000-foot cliffs towering over the Pacific as well as into Waimea Canyon via the Waipoo Falls Trail. Visiting this “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” is only possible on Kauai. The magnificent canyon features an ever-changing array of colors that are illuminated at sunset.
Choose Kauai for its botanical gardens with three of four botanical gardens in Hawaii found here. Stroll through a brilliant landscape of flowers and lush vegetation, featuring an unparalleled diversity of native and exotic plants.
Discover towering palm trees skyrocketing 60 feet in the sky as well as bronze sculptures and tropical flora at Na Aina Kai with its fairy-tale book-like setting or walk through Allerton Gardens with its expansive ocean views and stunning landscape that includes the giant Moreton Figs made famous in the film “Jurassic Park.” Hollywood chose the location to film several scenes in “Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides.”
It’s no wonder that so many choose Kauai. Are you ready to pack your bags?